Compton community mourns young basketball star gunned down in South LA

Heartbroken family and friends are remembering a 14-year-old standout basketball player from Compton who was shot and killed in South Los Angeles.
COMPTON, Calif. (KABC) -- Heartbroken family and friends are remembering a 14-year-old standout basketball player from Compton who was shot and killed in South Los Angeles.

Semaj Miller was gunned down the afternoon of July 29 near Main Street and East 87th Place. Police believe a gang member may have carried out the shooting. The suspect remains outstanding.

Hundreds of friends, family and community members appeared at a vigil for Semaj on Thursday, mourning the young man who was described as having a bright future.

Semaj started playing basketball at age 11. He started getting better and better - and kept growing and growing, reaching a height of 6 feet 6 inches by age 14.

He played ball for the Wildcats Youth Academy, which was established a few years ago to give young people a safe place to learn and have fun.

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Heartbroken family and friends are remembering Semaj Miller, a 14-year-old standout basketball player from Compton who was shot and killed in South Los Angeles.



Academy founder Derrick Cooper says Semaj was a special kid with a good heart.

"We want justice," Cooper said. "We want answers. And we want accountability. This young man did not deserve to die that way. He was a phenom, a superstar basketball player. He was wanted all over the state."

"He is someone that had a promising future. To take that from him - unacceptable."

The motive for the shooting remains undetermined.

The Los Angeles Police Department asked anyone with information to call South Bureau Homicide at (323)786-5100.

Anonymous information can be provided to Crime Stoppers at (800)222-8477.
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